I posted about the 2012 BMW 528i (of lethargic infamy!) a couple of weeks ago and have progressively pondered the situation. Inside Line long-term tested a 6-cylinderÂ 2011 528i and had many of the same complaints that my friend Ben has about his 4-cylinder 2012. Slow off the line, damped responses. A bit prozaic. Considering the 2012 engine is actually more powerful than the 2011, and both Ben and the Inside Line crew outfitted their vehicles with the Sport package…maybe the problem isn’t the engine or handling per se…maybe it’s the size.
In the past, the 5 was known as the big little car. It felt more like a 3 than like a 7. Today, the 3 is as large as a 5 of yore, the 5 is nearly on 7 proportions, and the 7 is simply mammoth…nearly the measurements of a Bentley Continental. So where does that leave us? Maybe, as Inside Line writers have suggested, the 5 is now the little big car. It has grander proportions and is less likely to grip you in your seat for a wild ride. The unmasked Americanization of the German executive sport saloon…?
One thing I will assert, independent of driving dynamics…is that the 5 is quite a looker. The wide, flat hood, with dreamy eyelashes and a muscular build from the B-pillar rearward. I’ve also always loved how BMW doors open slightly upward, as if to suggest flight. If judged purely on looks, I’d take the more fluid, futuristic 5-series over the hardened, almost catamaran-like E-class. This coming from a self-professed Benz freak…
I snapped this base, non-sport 528i at the carwash today and was struck by it. Instagram is a handy little tool for making unremarqable scenes look compelling.